There are two extremes in the creation vs. evolution argument. In one camp are the more fundamentalist religious people who believe that the world was created as it is, and that evolution is a big myth. I remember seeing a TV programme where an American fundamentalist said that God placed dinosaur bones on earth to test our faith.
At the other end are the extremist atheists a la Richard Dawkins, whose life mission seems to be to disprove the existence of God. This camp believes in evolution and biology, and that no one created the universe.
So who’s right? As a religious person, I cannot for a moment believe that there is no God. I pray five times a day and consider my faith my biggest source of strength. Incidentally, one of the best definitions of faith I’ve ever heard came from Dr. Dawkins himself. He once said on the Colbert Report that the existence of God cannot be fully proved, nor fully disproved. I agree 100%. You can never see Him, but you know He exists through your faith.
Having said that, as a reasonable, well-educated person, I cannot ignore the overwhelming evidence that evolution exists (I’m not sure I believe in natural selection though, which is not the same as evolution). So, again, who’s right? Well, neither is.
I believe that the universe was created around 14 billion years ago with a Big Bang, and that the Almighty started the Big Bang. I also believe, that the earth was created around 4 billion years ago (as I’ve learnt from watching countless documentaries), and that life evolved from simple organisms to what we see today.
The iPhone analogy
What I’m trying to say is that creation and evolution are two sides of the same coin. Let’s use a slightly bizarre example, the iPhone. When was the iPhone “created”? Back in 2007 you might say, right? Well, no. The creation of the iPhone started in 2007, but it hasn’t stopped. It’s still evolving, get my point?
But what about Adam and Eve?
You might be thinking “Well in the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible it says that humankind was born from Adam and Eve. How do you reconcile that with what you’re saying ?” Well, I think we cannot take the Adam and Eve story literally, otherwise it means that their children procreated, and that their children’s children procreated, and so on. Not only does this go against all religious beliefs and principles, but it would also mean that you can’t get past a couple of generations before you have a diseased, dumbed-down race that’s good for nothing.
I think Adam and Eve are representations of humankind’s development to a certain stage. Perhaps homo erectus, homo sapien or some other stage in human development. Interestingly, in the Quran is says that Adam was created out of mud. Perhaps what was meant was that he evolved from basic organisms that lived in the sludge of a young planet Earth.
How can God Almighty explain the concept of evolution to a relatively primitive mind that lived thousands of years ago? He didn’t even bother. So He gives more basic explanations in the Holy books, and knows that as science progresses, humankind will discover the deeper meanings in them.
I think science and religion are only at odds when you allow them to be. Also, I think looking for the deeper meaning in one’s religion is very important. Don’t worry about being right, focus on having love, tolerance, and compassion for all.